Dubai Court of Appeal rules Gupta brothers cannot be extradited to South Africa due to insufficient legal documentation
For illustrative purposes only. Image Credit: WAM


I own a private company. A month ago, I discovered that an employee had disclosed information to competing companies through a laptop, but this laptop belongs to the employee. I asked the employee to leave work immediately.

Currently, he is asking me to hand over the laptop immediately to him, considering that it is one of his personal properties. My question is: Do I have the legal right to keep this laptop considering that it contains evidence of the employee’s conviction? What is the appropriate action to take against this employee? Please advise.

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To answer such question, I would advise the questioner that: You do not have the legal right to keep the laptop with you.

You have to file a criminal case against him and hand over the laptop to the police station because disclosing confidential information on the occasion of work is a criminal act as per UAE Laws.

Federal Decree-Law No. (34) of 2021 regarding combating rumours and cybercrime, in its Article 45 dealt with this case and states the following: ("shall be punished by imprisonment for a period of no less than (6) six months and a fine of no less than (Dh200,000) two hundred thousand dirhams and not more than (Dh1,000,000) one million dirhams or one of these two penalties, anyone who discloses confidential information obtained by reason of or because of his work or by virtue of his profession, or distorted it, using one of the information technology means, without being authorised to disclose it or without the person concerned secretly authorising its disclosure or use. If the offender uses this information for his own benefit or for the benefit of another person, this is considered an aggravating circumstance.")

Moreover, UAE Penal Code No. 31 of 2021, Article 432, states that (“Shall be sentenced to detention for a minimum period of one year and to a minimum fine of twenty thousand dirham (Dh20,000) or one of these two penalties whoever by virtue of his profession, craft, position or art is entrusted with a secret and divulge it in cases other than those allowed by law or if used for his own personal interest or for the interest of another person, unless authorised by the confiding person to disclose or use it.)